City: Abu Dhabi
Time zone: GMT+4/CET+3
Abu Dhabi is 5,520km (3,430 miles) from the McLaren Technology Centre.
As with all of the flyaway races, the pre-set up crew headed to Abu Dhabi 10 days before the race. The mechanics followed on Monday of this week and the race engineers on Tuesday.
Biggest travel headache?
In terms of logistics, this is one of the easiest races on the calendar. Visas are completed on arrival, for which the team’s travel department sends a list of everyone attending and their passport numbers. The team is staying at the Hilton Capital Grand, which is an excellent hotel in a good location, and Abu Dhabi International Airport has just raised the bar for international travellers, having had a $6.8 billion revamp.
Traditional food in the UAE is spicy and meat-based. One of the most popular dishes is Shawarma, which is similar to a kebab. Mix chicken or lamb with garlic sauce, pickles, potatoes and tomatoes, and wrap it in an Arabic roti. To accentuate the rich Arabian tastes, it’s usually washed down with a strawberry and banana fruit drink.
The average net worth of Abu Dhabi’s 420,000 indigenous citizens is US$17 million.
When in Rome…
You can stay at Yas Marina after this year’s race to watch some F1 testing, on the Tuesday and Wednesday of the following week, or you can head across the border and check out the Dubai Autodrome, which is located an hour away. A lot of F1 drivers negotiate the Al Qudra cycle path in Dubai as part of their fitness regimes, but you must be capable of cycling a minimum of 100km (62 miles) to complete it.
You’re in the desert: it’s dry and hot. Daytime temperatures hover between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius at this time of year.
Top tips from our local Hilton Concierge
Your inside information on the city of Abu Dhabi, bought to you by our partner Hilton.
If you were to visit only one place of interest where would it be?
I would say the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The mosque is the largest in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest in the world covering an area of over 30 acres (12 hectares). Construction on the mosque, which began in 1996, took 11 years to complete. As the country's grand mosque, it is the key place of worship for Friday gathering and Eid prayers. During Eid it can be visited by more than 40,000 people.
What is your ‘hidden gem’ place not many people would know about?
A lesser known attraction in the area is the Abu Dhabi Mangroves, where you can go kayaking and see our amazing unique natural resources.
What national dish must be tried when in Abu Dhabi?
Fish is a mainstay of many local dishes with Al Madrooba, a mix of salted fish, spices and thick sauce being one of the most popular while rice is ever present and is most often served with saffron, nuts and spices.
Describe Abu Dhabi in 3 words.
Arabic, contemporary, discovery.